Andrés Cárdenas

🇨🇴 Autodidact. Thinking out-loud about Free software, privacy, Football & Rock music.

The Slide Song

Published on in ✍🏽Articles

I’d love to now, but Lord…
you know it sure does take a lot

Oct 2, 2019.

Today, on my way home from work, I got down at my Metro station and an old lady approaches me.

“Young man, could you help me carry these bags”

The bags looked heavy for her. I couldn’t help but think that she could be handing me something delicate law-wise, that’s being too paranoid, I know, but it wouldn’t be the first time here that someone gets handed a box or a bag trying to help someone else and they end up in jail.

But I wanted to feel good about myself, because most of the time that’s the reason we help others. Egos gotta be fed.

The old lady and I are on our way out of the station, I’m carrying the bags, and she says:

“Young man, let me give you an advice”

I nod politely and pay attention to what she’s going to share with me.

“You that are so young should follow the path of the Lord, because… because God is the only…”

Interrupt her. “I’m sorry, I can only help you this far. You’ll need to find someone else. Have a good day.”

What moves people to do that? To actively give advice to strangers. The thing about unsolicited advice is that it is, at least, condescending. Who gives the advisor the right to comment on a stranger’s choice? Isn’t the advisor also giving an insult by assuming they can add value to someone else’s life?

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Andrés Cárdenas
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